To be honest, I do think the market for my area is heating up quickly, but this is the third house in 6 months (I only have 3) that's rented on the first day of showing, all in the 30032 zip of SE Decatur, metro Atlanta (B- or C+ neighborhoods). Since there's another place listed within 4 houses of this one, I have to give myself a little credit for product and marketing. Since it's already gone, I can't link to the Postlets/Zillow listing, but here's a jpg of it --
I guess I'm especially proud of the description of the place. I've seen so many "just the facts" listings that I really took to heart advice to paint a picture of life in the house, instead of just telling what it's got. More help from BP posts -- I used to ask a $150 deposit for pets, but now I ask only a $75 deposit and $25 more a month, meaning if I've screened the pet owners well, I get to keep the $300/year extra instead of eventually giving it back.
I bought the house at the end of February (thanks @Rick Baggenstoss ), negotiated the price down after HVAC, electrical and plumbing inspections. I've got a team I trust now, so I skipped the general home inspection this time. Spent 5 weeks on improvements - a total electrical rewiring and total HVAC re-ducting (units aren't that old, but weren't maintained), and a bit of handyman work.
So the 1st month's rent is in before the first payment is due, and I'm already over over the interest-to-principal hump. Numbers -- I've got about $69k total in the house (paid cash from equity line), I take in $875, interest-only is $200. I'm paying $350 extra toward principal, leaving $325 for expenses and reserves. It's not crazy amazing, but it's enough on my retirement plan, and far and away the best of my three properties so far. I keep learning. Thanks, BP.
My first SFM, that I bought 12 years ago when I had no real idea of what I was doing, this time rented in September to the first people who saw it. My second, bought on December 5, rented on December 12 to the first person who saw it. Realistically, we're in a good market in inside-the-perimeter SE Decatur/ Atlanta, but other nearby places have been listed at the same price for longer.
Also, to be honest, I have to say that it's likely that I, the real me, as owner and manger, am a factor in attracting the tenants who want to rent from me. The applicants have asked if I'll be the manager, and I say yes. We connect on some level (sadly at this point, probably at the mother or grandmother level. Sigh.) My ideal tenant is someone like I was when moving to Atlanta, wanting or needing to rent for a year or several while grown-up life is still getting figured out. Low or no hassle, probably no kids, educated and probably on the "crunchy" side. As @Jay Papasan said, folks I'd enjoy having over to dinner. I know this can't scale up too much more, but so far it works for everyone.
Everybody on BP says don't buy less than a 3/2 for best returns -- that may be true, but gauging by the calls I get for my neighborhood, I'm totally cool with a 2/1 or 3/1.5. I just don't want to deal with folks with tons of kids (the schools aren't that great). When my empire is bigger than I can handle and I need a property manger, maybe the criteria will shift :-)
@Anna Watkins Great job! on several fronts: buying cash, using equity from another property, putting together a good crew, managing a timely rehab on budget and more importantly renting it so fast!
I liked your descriptions! and it looks like at least 15 potential tenants also liked it enough because they saved your listing... Well done!
Way to go, @Anna Watkins ! It is a very nice description. Great house too!
I love the large ranches in your target area. Belvedere is certainly coming back. The tenants are looking for nicely renovated houses and rents are climbing rapidly in that area thanks to good landlords like yourself.
You'll have great appreciation in this area as it gets back on track. There are still a number of foreclosures holding the prices down and a lot of underwater mortgages. A bunch of houses listed for $100k. Two years ago, there was only one.
Nice work - looks like your property description and in-person connection made a difference. I'm intrigued by the Belvedere area's potential as well
congrats. That's awesome
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